Synopsis: Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple and of course, King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style.
Release Date: June 8, 2012 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Animation, Children and Family
AFRO Circus!!! Confused? Rightly so, but you will not be after watching Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. As the third installment in the animated Madagascar film franchise from DreamWorks pictures, the film is a vibrant display of entertainment on screen, for children and adults alike.
Taking its cue from the end of the second film, Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa, Madagascar 3 finds the main characters still stranded in Africa, living on the land and dreaming of returning to New York City. The lion Alex (Ben Stiller) is especially homesick, and wishes to return to his place atop his mighty rock at the zoo where people from all over the world would marvel at him daily. The rest of the animals, including Merty the zebra (Chris Rock), the hippo Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith), and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer), eagerly await their rescue as well from the Penguins who went to Monte Carlo to win enough money gambling so they could afford the trip to New York. The penguins have not returned in quite a long time and so the whole gang decides to go to Monte Carlo, find them, and start the journey back to New York. This would of course be far too simple of a plan if it would actually work, and in this animated comedy everything is about to go wrong for this gang of animals; and then everything is about to go right when they discover a traveling circus. Even if an Animal Control officer from France is hot on their trail, as Captain Chantel (Frances McDormand) wants to complete her animal head collection with the king of the jungle, and Alex the lion will work perfectly.
The inclusion of the circus does wonders for the story in Madagascar 3, especially since the first act borders on being tedious and coincidentally appears to be taking the story in a direction one does not understand or desire with the somewhat dark storyline of killing animals for sport and trophy’s with Captain Chantel. The fun starts when the original gang of animals meets, and joins, the traveling circus, with three new characters making their debut. The not-so-bright Italian seal Stefano (Martin Short), the hyper-masculine Russian tiger Vitaly (Bryan Cranston) with a dark secret, and the sexy South American leopard who dreams of soaring high in the air Carmen (Paz Vega) provide additional comedy, romance, and an infusion of conflict to Madagascar 3. Because of this, the movie overcomes the shortcomings of its beginning to stand out as a story about making way for a new path in life, and discovering the freedom of being yourself, without constraint. The circus is the perfect backdrop for embracing individuality, and Madagascar 3 turns the circus into a free-for-all party, complete with rainbow afros, and gorgeous stunts combined with breathtaking colors through the creative animation. Madagascar 3 will have you in awe of its visuals, laughing along with the characters, and even tearing up at the conclusion where everyone’s dreams come true and happiness abounds.
There appears to be a consistent theme in animated films when it comes to humor. Using generic stereotypes to garner laughs is deemed appropriate, and most welcome as nearly every script for an animated feature draws from them. Madagascar 3 is no exception, and as much as an adult knows it is not proper to laugh they do so anyways, and children laugh right along as well–even if they do not fully grasp why the joke is funny. The stereotypes used to excess for laughs in Madagascar 3 deal with cultural stereotypes; for example, the angry Russian, idiot Italian, or sexy latin american woman. The jokes are not offensive, and they do in their own way promote historical references to various country’s, but at the same time originality is lacking and the appropriateness for what movies are continuing to teach our children questionable.
These concerns aside, Madagascar 3 is full of enough laughs to entertain even the most begrudging attendee. Chris Rock’s Zebra, Merty, is hilarious, especially when he dons his rainbow afro wig and dances or is trading bards with a number of characters. The penguins deliver laughs with their high flying, road racing, inventions. When the Italian (idiot) seal Stefano admits to his lack of intelligence, the audience responds with roaring laughter. There are a variety of jokes that will appeal to any and all senses of humor in Madagascar 3 and it is honestly a comedy fit for the entire family.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Eric Darnell
- Producer(s): Mireille Soria
- Screenwriter(s): Eric DarnellNoah Baumbach
- Cast: Ben Stiller (voice of Alex)Chris Rock (voice of Merty)David Schwimmer (voice of Melman) Jada Pinkett Smith (voice of Gloria)Sacha Baron Cohen (voice of King Julien XIII)Cedric the Entertainer (voice of Maurice)Andy Richter (voice of Mort)Frances McDormand (voice of Captain Chantel)Bryan Cranston (voice of Vitaly)Martin Short (voice of Stefano)Jessica Chastain (voice of Gia)Paz Vega (voice of Carmen)
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Hans Zimmer
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA